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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Collins Henderson

Melissa "Collins" Henderson
January 22, 2012
She is here! And as I am typing this, approaching exactly a week old. I need to write this down before I forget. Heath commented that "we" haven't updated the blog lately - "we" just now found a minute to do so, and I better make the most of it!
Laurahelen and Thomas - so cute
Last Saturday night, one of my best friends, Laurahelen, got engaged! Her precious fiance hosted a surprise get-together to celebrate and Heath and I went while Mom and Dad watched the boys. When we got home, I got Mom to help me put the bedding on the crib. I guess it was nesting! Anyway, we went to bed and I had planned to stay home from church and send the boys with Heath and get some things done around the house. Right before I went to bed I read a blog of a friend of a friend who had just had a baby, and had no idea how soon I would be feeling the same thing!
Well, around 4:15 I woke up and felt some back pain. I remembered it from labor with Turner - like someone had a boot stuck in my back. So instead of waking Heath up, I texted my sister. She was in Greenville, and luckily she texted me back. I told her I was pretty sure I was contracting regularly and she told me to call the doctor and then call Mom and Dad and tell them to come on. So then I woke up Heath and did those things.
Once Mom got here (Dad was already up and walking the dog when I called Mom - impressive), we started heading to the hospital. I was pretty convinced it was the real thing, and hoping they wouldn't send me away! I had to ask the doctor on call where to go, because of course I have not toured the new hospital.
We arrived and a nurse named Katie, who had delivered Turner, met us at the desk. I was excited that she would be taking care of us. She got us all settled and I got checked and Dr. Ross said I was at 5 cm. Definitely having a baby!
I got my epidural around 8 a.m. and then we waited. My family came throughout the morning, and Heath's dad (who was driving from a trip to Louisiana) made it around 11:30. I was especially glad when Lindsey got there, since she always assists in my deliveries (to a very grateful Heath!).
I started pushing around 11:45, and this little nugget was here at 12:07 p.m. She was so tiny! And I really couldn't believe she was a girl until I saw her for myself. But she was! (Beforehand the doctor was telling me his ultrasound techs have about a 1/10,000 chance of being wrong. I told him it wasn't that - I believed them, I just needed to SEE her).
She was the easiest delivery of the three, and she was 6 pounds, 6.8 (7) oz. and 19 3/4 inches long. She cried and opened her eyes immediately and stuck out her long tongue!
Then the boys got there around 1:00 - after church got out. They were there hanging with their ladies during the delivery. Turner strutted in like a rooster asking for his baby sister. He was so proud. And John Burke couldn't wait to get his hands on her!
Then they took us upstairs to a room for recovery. We had 2 days of visitors and wonderful care from the nurses in the new hospital rooms! They were fabulous. Even when we had to evacuate the rooms at 3 a.m. to the hallway during the tornado that hit the Birmingham area.
Cousin Kate could not wait to get her hands on her - she has also called a couple of times this week to check on her. I love it.
Sweet cousin Ellie
We came home on Tuesday around lunch time. It was so nice to come home to our new house. I know God in his sovereignty knew that I would have had a nervous breakdown if I had to go to our other house! Seriously. Where would she have gone?? Well, the baby is the smallest but the boys would have absolutely driven me crazy. Now they have an upstairs to retreat to!
The first night, Collins threw me for a loop! She could not get comfortable and did not want to lie on her back. So she slept on us. Anyway, Wednesday I looked all around for positioners (that must have been recalled because I couldn't find them anywhere. Luckily my neighbor Evan had one!) Wednesday night went much better.
Then Thursday I took her to the doctor, and thankfully Mom stayed home with the wild boys in the rainstorms! They told me she had jaundice (which is par for the course as a Henderson baby), and we set up the bili beds that afternoon.
I think she was trying to lift her middle finger in disdain for the bili bed
I was excited - I thought she would love it, since Turner did. But alas, she did not! She screamed all night Thursday night in between feedings and snoozing on one of us. Praise the Lord that Mom agreed to stay one more night for my sanity's sake.
Her preferred way to break down bilirubin - laying out in the foyer's natural light
Friday night she had some stomach issues and was still hating her bed. I am not used to this from the boys as far as I can remember. But, last night, she was warm and snuggly and slept great! She woke up every 3-4 hours to feed, but there was no unhappiness in between. Now that is what I am talking about!! So I have loved her even more this morning :)
I wanted to record these things before they drift away in a newborn fog. I forget that there is nothing like holding a warm and snuggly newborn! I think with her being the third I just know how quickly it will pass (though that is not all bad!), and I want to soak up sweet time with her. But then night time comes and I remember whey it is okay that they get bigger!
Bath time this morning - the boys were very protective of her. But Heath and I were too close for them not to be :)
Turner refers to her as Baby Sister or My Friend Collins. Hmmm. He wants to know where she is and what she is doing at all times, but then he has been good to play on his own with "Bad Queen" (Lightning McQueen) or watch "Woody on the Trains" (Toy Story 3) once he makes sure she is settled. Whatever. I am enjoying his independence.
John Burke has been sick this week. Supposedly it was a bronchitis bug, but thankfully his cough didn't last long and he nipped it quickly with some antibiotics! We just had to keep him separate from his new favorite toy, Baby Sister. He was all about Mommy the few days before she came. He kept poking my far-protruding belly button and laughing and needing me to hold him constantly. He wouldn't walk far from me at all, even at school. His teachers told me that meant he sensed she was coming, and maybe he did? Or maybe he is just a needy 20 month old:). But this week he has been all about GiGi and Heath. And it has made me laugh.
This starts a new week. This weekend we have been in the car a couple of times as a family of 5, and somehow I really feel like a Mom. I should have been feeling this way for a long time, but it has been amplified as I decipher among 3 different cries. It is a blessing - help me, Jesus!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas and some big news

The holidays were a blur this year! Overall, they were good and an awesome time to thank our Father for His son! But, they looked so different this year with our recent loss of Heath's mom and other crazy life situations going on!
I want to post the few pictures I got - hopefully in the next few years I won't be SO pregnant (pretty sure I won't :)) and lazy with the camera.
The week before Christmas we went as a family to the zoo for Zoolight Safari. Evidently the rest of Birmingham (and surrounding cities) had the same idea! Crazy, but fun. Actually, 2 days before we had gone to the zoo with some friends because of the mild weather. Turner spotted his obsession - the train, but I told him that you can't ride the train without your daddy there. So, the never-forgetful little monkey asked Heath for the next 48 hours if he was ready to go ride the train. Heath loved me for that! Thus, we did an abridged version of Zoolight Safari. Park the car, run in, stand in the long line for the train, witness the magic (which he did LOVE) and then run out for dinner!
Our favorite view from the train. Only fitting! Our favorite girls at Chick-fil-A surprised us with a gift for the boys on Christmas Eve. We drove through and they asked us to pull over, and they brought a bag full of Thomas the Train toys and Cars night lights for the boys. Have I mentioned that we love that place? And that I understand how ridiculous it is that we go that much! Maybe we will cut back in 2012!
Christmas Eve we went to our church service and then headed to Mom and Dad's for dinner with our family friends, the Moores. This was the best picture we could get! I wish you could have heard my loving brother Derek as he kept sarcastically proclaiming "Kelly - you don't even look pregnant." Such a jerk - I wish I could see him pregnant and make fun of him! Good thing I think he is funny.
John Burke entertained everyone at dinner with how neatly he ate. That led to bath time at Gigi and Pop Pop's!
This was the scene Christmas morning. We had to wake Turner up at 7:30 because we had sort of downplayed Christmas morning for hopefully one more year. Anyway, he was thrilled that Santa brought him a train table!!
After breakfast, we headed back to my parents' house for lunch. This is the best pic I got of the kids, though John Burke looks like he has a toupee on. Santa's big gifts for the grandkids were riding toys. He brought 2 jeeps and a tractor and they were a HIT! Even in the rain. In the few minutes of the unveiling, though, the rain held off for a few minutes!
They are beginning to look a lot more alike to me...especially when I dress them alike
Kate and Chloe driving a Jeep
After lunch, we headed down to Andalusia for Christmas dinner. Somehow, this is the only picture I got with cousin Ellie.
Santa was good to us down in Andalusia, too. Pap gave John Burke his own riding jeep to bring home (to match Turner's tractor from last year) and Turner got a bicycle! Also, Pap gave them some farm clothes. So, we had to try them out the next day at the farm!
Kate and I did a little shopping while Frank and the boys took the kids to the farm. They rode around in the Rustler, watched Jay do some fishing and then helped load the skeet shooter. We watched Heath take some good shots before we left him on the farm to go home for naps. They had a ball!
We didn't waste much time getting back to Birmingham because we ended up MOVING on December 30th! It was a crazy, crazy process and very stressful at times because we did not know if the deal would go through. Really - an hour before closing on the 29th we weren't sure if it was going to work out!! We traded our house with a guy (plus some extra money of course!) who didn't live in it, but had bought it for an investment, so there were several hoops to jump through. When we told our old across the street neighbor we were leaving the next day, he asked if we were in trouble with the law. Ha! Nothing like that, but I guess it did look like that a little bit. The deal was contingent on closing by the end of the year, so we jumped and ran!! 34 weeks pregnant and all :) I truly feel like it was completely orchestrated by the Lord and such a wonderful blessing!! And, our new house is next to our dear friends, the Harlesses!!!
My favorite view of my old house. :) It served us well - the house saw us as newlyweds for several years and then as we brought Turner and then John Burke home. I wasn't sure how we were going to bring another baby there! There was no sadness as we moved and cleaned out, which I was glad about!
Here is our new house!! So much more space and wonderful neighbors!!
We finally got our acts together to spend the first night on New Year's Eve. We didn't have cable yet, so we watched the game next door. After the "little" boys went to bed, York and Turner settled in at our back window to watch the fireworks behind our house. It was so cool and such a fun surprise for our first night there!!
Then, Wes put on a fireworks show. So fun and very professional looking. We were extremely impressed!!
on the ground
and in the sky!!
So, basically 2011 was a memorable year in happy and sad ways. We experienced loss like we never had before, and I learned more about total dependence on the Lord than I have in a while! But, he blessed us through loss and through gain! We found out about baby girl on the way, he granted Heath a new job, we got a new car, and a new house. Looks like we are growing up in 2012!! Happy New Year!!